by Barbara Wheeler, NARSAD manager of communications and media relations

Wednesday NARSAD sent out the first edition of its eNewsletter. eNews from NARSAD is designed to bring readers stories of scientific breakthrough, discovery and recovery each month.

In the creation of this issue of eNews from NARSAD I had the opportunity to interview NARSAD donor Sylvia Hughes for the recovery story – a story about Sylvia’s grandson who was diagnosed “on the spectrum” of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) when he was 2. Her grandson turned 8 this week and Sylvia shared some of the challenges and joys of being “Nana” to her grandson. I was touched by Sylvia’s concern and affection for her grandson. She told me grandmother stories of LEGO obsessions and teaching him to ride his bike.

Sylvia also shared her conviction that NARSAD-funded scientists will make a difference in her grandson’s life and the lives of others suffering from the broad range of mental illnesses and brain-related behavior disorders. She also has a son living with schizo-affective disorder.

Seeing this issue of eNews from NARSAD come together with stories of scientific research and the people who support breakthroughs and discoveries was exciting. One in four people in the United States lives with severe mental illness. That makes the work of NARSAD ­– finding causes and improved treatments for mental health disorders – all the more relevant.

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